The Department of Economics was created in 2009, when Sciences Po decided to create a new dynamic in economic research led by its permanent faculty, to "re-fundamentalize" the teaching of economics and to raise the international recognition of its research centers.
The evaluation of the Department of Economics in 2018 by the national evaluation agency (HCERES) highlights the fact that this ambitious policy has allowed the Department to climb "to the top of the world hierarchy".
A New Research & teaching dynamic
For the first time, fundamental research in economics was promoted alongside applied research, evaluation of public policy at Sciences Po. Econometrics, game theory, quantitative political economy, and quantitative methods were introduced.
Simultaneously, the core courses in economics have started to be taught by academic researchers as opposed to practitioners originating from the high civil service or from the corporate or political spheres. The faculty has collectively dedicated itself to redefining Sciences Po’s curricula by introducing theoretical and empirical tools as early as the undergraduate level. This has allowed the Department to prepare Sciences Po’s students for graduate-level research and for an internationally competitive PhD in Economics.
Making this shift has been worthwhile:
In 2016 - only seven years after its creation - the Department was accredited by the Centre national de recherche scientifique (CNRS), the french National Centre for Scientific Research, when it became an "Unité Mixte de Recherche".
The Department's researchers have brought home 19 coveted European Research Council (ERC) grants as well as substantial national funding by the Agence nationale de recherche (ANR), among many others.
It was one of the institutional partners for the teaching of economic history in the shape of a 3-year Marie Curie "International Training Network" programme (MACROHIST).
In recent years the Department has been honoured to host such prestigious events as the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics' Annual World Conference in 2016 or the Restud Tour in 2019.
Our students are placing remarkably well: the top graduates from the Master programme who subsequently pursued a PhD were admitted to the best PhD programmes (Berkeley, Yale, Duke, Northwestern, as well as Sciences Po) and our young doctors have been recruited by top universities in France and around the world (UCLA, UCL, Oxford, Bocconi, University of Bonn, University of Amsterdam, Leuven, ENS Paris, HEC Paris, Carlos III, INSEAD, ...) as well as research institutions and international organisations.
Over the years, we have succeeded in attracting a large array of long-term visitors from the most prestigious North-American, European universities and beyond.
shaping a cutting-edge international scientific community
At the heart of its objective to reinforce and extend the scope of research in economics at Sciences Po, is the Department's determination to shape a compact scientific community capable of international reach. The Department has grown fast since 2009, from 11 to 35 members to date.
Faculty members are recruited on the international Job Market, where the best “rookies” each year meet with the universities with the most ambitious recruitment strategies. This is the guarantee of renewed and sustained quality of our recruitment in terms both of academic excellence and internationalization of the faculty. Also important in the recruitment process, we value the willingness to participate in our institution-building enterprise, and participate in synergies with other departments at Sciences Po. Because the vast majority of our permanent faculty obtained their PhD abroad, and many have taught outside of France, the Department is further enriched by alternative professional practices and international networks.
The Department initially developed around a focused core of topics – i.e. political economy, international economics, labour economics and econometrics. Over the last few years these topics have broadened to now include a strong group of theoretical economics, a team of researchers specialised in development economics, and expanded vastly its expertise in macroeconomics, and industrial organization.
- Pile of visitors books
In January 2024, the Department will be hosting Aurélie OUSS (U Penn), David THESMAR (MIT Sloan), and Jack WILLIS (Columbia) as Visiting faculty members:
Aurélie OUSS is the Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and an Affiliate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
Her research examines how good design of criminal justice institutions and policies can make law enforcement fairer and more efficient.